Jonathan Osorio and Jozy Altidore scored second half goals as Toronto FC came back to top UANL Tigres 2-1 in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal at BMO Field on Wednesday.
Eduardo Vargas gave UANL Tigres a 1-0 lead, but the Liga MX side was behind the 8-ball the rest of the night.
The second leg is at 11 p.m. ET Tuesday at the Estadio Universitario.
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Chances were at a premium in the first half, and the match deservedly went to halftime at nil-nil.
Tigres swapped Enner Valencia for Andre-Pierre Gignac at hafltime, giving the Reds a tactical challenge in adjusting to two very different strikers.
A moment after Jozy Altidore was stymied by Jose Francisco Torres, the big TFC striker was livid with the referee’s decision to not award him a 49th minute penalty.
Vargas beat Alex Bono in the 53rd minute, the Chilean scoring in yet another big spot.
TFC should’ve been level two minutes later, but Osorio opted for using the outside of his right foot over the natural path of Altidore’s cross to his left. The shot zipped over the goal.
Giovinco won a free kick dribbling through traffic in the 57th minute, but couldn’t get his shot to dip under the bar.
Altidore put the Reds ahead when Marky Delgado one-touched the big striker in on goal, and Altidore slid the ball home to make it 1-1.
Gignac then nearly beat Bono with a similar volley to Vargas’ goal, but the ball bounded wide of the far post.
The tide had swung in Toronto’s favor, and Giovinco won another free kick — perhaps with embellishment — near the chalk of the 18. The wall served its purpose.
Michael Bradley was at his very best in producing what could’ve easily been a go-ahead goal, swooping in front of a Tigres pass and then making a nifty 1v1 move before delivering a world-class cross that Altidore bungled on the six.
Osorio got the winner in the 89th minute, backheeling Giovinco’s cross into the Tigres goal.
Chris Mavinga made an outstanding challenge to stop Ismael Sosa late.
Here’s the winner: